Media Release: Needs, opportunities and challenges are different FOR rural Entrepreneurs February 2017


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February 10, 2017

Power Up! The Alberta Entrepreneur’s Conference being hosted in Olds

(Olds, AB – February 10, 2017) Entrepreneurs and business owners throughout Central Alberta are invited to save Wednesday, March 29 in their calendars as Olds is host to the first-ever entrepreneurs conference tailor-made for Alberta’s rural communities. The one-day conference, held at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites, will focus on providing content for business owners at all points in the business cycle.

Power Up! is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by the Olds Institute in cooperation with local partners including the Olds & District Chamber of Commerce, Olds College and Mountain View County. This initiative was made possible thanks to support from the Government of Alberta, Business Link and ATB Financial.

“When the Government of Alberta, Business Link and ATB reviewed applications to host the event, the choice to launch this event in Olds was unanimous,” says Mitch Thomson, Executive Director of the Olds Institute. “We stood out as the obvious place to start.”

“They recognized that a great deal of our economy in Alberta is generated in our rural municipalities,” Thomson continues, “yet most business conferences are geared toward and located in larger urban centres. The needs, opportunities and challenges are completely different in the rural marketplace, so the content of this conference needs to reflect that. And it needs to happen where the businesses are located.”

“Whether you are a new start-up or have a business idea, or are a seasoned veteran and looking for guidance on succession planning, there will be resources and information at this full day event suited to your needs,” Thomson concludes.

The day will start with a morning keynote from Jennifer Carlson of Baby Gourmet. Carlson started in her Calgary kitchen and the company is now one of the biggest organic baby food companies in North America. A “Family Panel” will lead into the lunch hour, with representatives from local family businesses who have grown and diversified over the years providing insights into the victories and challenges of building small family businesses into international enterprises and large corporations. Lunch keynote speaker Rob Saik will bring his wit and wisdom on growing an agricultural and technical business from the ground up. The final keynote of the day will be Marty Park, a “serial entrepreneur” who will guide attendees to grow from good to great.

In addition to keynote speakers, there will be several breakout sessions throughout the day on topics ranging from social media to alternative financing. Several business support services, including representatives from the Government of Alberta, Business Link, ATB Financial, Community Futures and Futurepreneurs will be in attendance in a tradeshow setting, with personnel ready to provide information and answer questions. The day will close with a networking hour sponsored by Olds College. The conference will be hosted in five other rural communities around the province based on the model developed in Olds. Locations for future conferences are yet to be announced.

Early bird ticket price is $75 per person and will be available online at


About the Olds Institute:

The Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development (OICRD) is an independent public community development governance board incorporated under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta and supported by the Town of Olds.

Building on the support of the four founding Essential Members (Olds Agricultural Society, Olds & District Chamber of Commerce, Olds College, and the Town of Olds), the Olds Institute generates significant synergy within the community by encouraging collaboration between the Essential Members and other community stakeholders so that the sum is greater than each of the individual contributor.

The Olds Institute facilitates community consultations with stakeholders. These stakeholders include, but are not limited to, business owners and operators, investors, educators, providers of government and health services, seniors, youth, spiritual organizations, recreation organizations, tourism organizations, arts and cultural organizations, communication and technology providers, elected officials, volunteers and residents of our community and region.

The Olds Institute ensures all community development decisions and recommendations are assessed as to the impact they will have on the economic, social, educational, cultural, environmental and political dimensions.


Olds Institute
4512 – 46 St, Olds, Alberta Canada T4H 1R5
Phone: 403 586-4000
Fax: 403 556-6537
Mitch Thompson, Executive Director of Olds Institute
Phone: 403 586-4000